Last Wednesday, I
had the pleasure to attend Robert Clinch's exhibition opening at the Manningham
Gallery in Doncaster. He is a contemporary realist painter of exceptional
quality. His works command respect.
I thought he strikes
a perfect balance between craftsmanship and his artistic voice. The details he
affords in the works are extraordinary. There is no way these images can be truly
appreciated from the brochures. One has to see them in the flesh.
Apart from the extraordinary
details in the works, some of them also stand out with the unique colors of egg
tempera medium. Egg tempera is a traditional technique dating pre-Renaissance and
used extensively during the Renaissance and later in Orthodox iconography. It
involves quite a bit of technical knowledge surrounding the medium to make it
work. It is not readily available and the artist would have to make it. We learn
from an interview with Megan McEvoy that he uses it, not only because it does
not fade even over centuries but also provides a rich color not available in
other mediums. "It has a glow," he says.
of his work is that they are derived from on-site drawings. The images are
therefore completely hand-made and are not traced from photographs. This seems
to give him the power of re-constructing entire images from scratch and arrange
them in ways which would not otherwise be possible.
His works are
quite unique. In the same interview he says "I left school at eighteen, and
went straight into workforce?My experiences in the workforce were probably a
greater influence on my subject matter and my way of seeing, than any artist
that I have seen."
He is delivering
a free Artists Floortalk
this Saturday (24th of July) at 2pm. The details are:
699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, Vic
Gallery Hours: 14-31 July 2010,
Tuesday to Friday, 11.00am to 5.00pm
Saturday, 2.00pm to 5.00pm